Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Unnecessary, but workable.
The second film in the Terminator collection was clearly the best in the series, and no one is arguing that. It provided an end to an impending doom, and overall satisfactory story that had a beginning, middle, and end. If we were to be honest, we’d say it really didn’t need a third film, and that’s true. If you were to watch the first and second all over again, you’d notice the same thing. Everything was covered in the second film, which begs the question…why was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines even made? You ask me…its popularity. However, it’s a really fun movie anyway.
John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been covering his tracks for the last 10 years, remaining hidden. He made sure that if there was a radar, he wasn’t on it. That way police agencies couldn’t find him, nor robots from the future, had they ever returned to find him and try again. Which of course, they do, given the fact that this is in fact a Terminator movie, after all. So, yeah, the Terminators couldn’t actually find John, because he’s clever, so the evil one, the TX starts killing off John’s future lieutenants and other important figures in the future besides himself. Though, the TX does in fact fall upon John’s trail when he runs into Katherine Brewster (Claire Danes), his future wife, and daughter of the new man in charge of SkyNet. John, Kate, and the T-101’s new objective is to survive the impending doom of the inevitable judgment day.
So this film is so iffy among Terminator lovers, and I’m not entirely sure why. When you think about it, the second film is the best – and I agree. Out of the entire franchise, each film is so different from the last, because each one takes place in another decade, so plenty has changed. However, if there were two movies in the entire franchise that were the most alike, it would clearly be Terminator 2 and Terminator 3, not the first one. You have a protecting T-101 model, humor, terminator-on-terminator mega-violence, and heck…even that liquid metal stuff on the main villain. Oh yeah, and it partially had to do with stopping SkyNet again. In theory, you should like this film second best, but you don’t. I might partially understand why, but I won’t agree with the rest.
First of all, it was unnecessary. Yes it was. I mentioned above that I agree, but while we have the movie at our disposal, we might as well enjoy it. The reason why this film is unnecessary is brought up midway in the film, and it is explained better than I can say right here. It makes enough sense for someone that’s not ready to give up on the franchise quite yet. Another thing, Nick Stahl doesn’t have the best on-screen chemistry with the Terminator. Edward Furlong and the Terminator’s chemistry was legendary – now maybe that’s because it was a kid and a tough guy acting like a big softy, or maybe it was something deeper. We may never know, but Stahl just didn’t give the same feel as Furlong. However, his chemistry with Claire Danes was pretty good, and Dane’s chemistry with the Terminator was also pretty decent…so there’s that. Her transformation from innocent dog vet to machine-gun-wielding heroine was reminiscent to Linda Hamilton’s portrayal as Sarah Connor in the original film.
Also, there is no Sarah Connor. This is where I say, “so what?”. Linda Hamilton is an incredible actress and she brings soul and flare to the Terminator series. I totally agree, but what I don’t agree on is the idea that she is 100% necessary for a Terminator flick. The only people I think that are a must-have is Arnold Schwarzenegger and the character of John Connor.
From the original trilogy, this film’s graphics look…incredible. I mean stunning in comparison to even the second film, which had some beautiful graphics of its own. The one thing it didn’t have as much of is the same look and feel of the second film. Almost every scene in the second film had shots that you could put in a calendar they were so impressive. I wouldn’t say the camerawork was as good, but the computerized graphics were…wow.
I will admit that this film did stink a little bit of Hollywood cheese. Made just to be made, and all that. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a brilliant man, and does an awesome job as the Terminator, even 12 years after the previous installment. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines isn’t exactly needed, but since it was made, it’s still a pretty decent movie. No, it doesn’t match up to the second film, but it’s still a blast to watch and experience.